Cosmetics are muslim inventionOne of the leading cosmetologists was the famous physician and father of surgery, Abu al-Qassim al-Zahrawi, or Abulcassis (936-1013 CE). He wrote a monumental work, a medical encyclopaedia entitled Al-Tasreef, in 30 volumes, which was translated into Latin and used as the main medical textbook in most Universities of Europe.


In the 19th volume of Al-Tasreef a chapter was devoted completely to cosmetics and is the first original Muslim work in cosmetology. Zahrawi’s contribution in medicated cosmetics include under-arm deodorants, hair removing sticks and hand lotions. Hair dyes are mentioned turning blond hair to black and hair care is included, even for correcting kinky or curly hair. He even mentioned the benefits of suntan lotions, describing their ingredients in detail.
Zahrawi considered cosmetics a definite branch of medication (Adwiyat al-Zinah). He deals with perfumes, scented aromatics and incense. There were perfumed stocks rolled and pressed in special moulds, perhaps the earliest antecedents of present day lipsticks and solid deodorants. He used oily substances called Adhan for medication and beautification. There are many a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) which refer to cleanliness, management of dress, and care of hair and body. On this basis, Zahrawi described the care and beautification of hair, skin, teeth and other parts of the body, all within the boundaries of Islam.